Last week, Tensoft hosted a customer- exclusive webinar “Reporting with Microsoft Power BI” at Momentum 2.0. Presented by Jason Ochipa, this webcast provided a brief overview of Microsoft Power BI and a quick demo on setting up some data sources from Tensoft applications like SemiOps and DemandOps, and Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central.
Below is a partial transcription of this presentation:
“Power BI is Microsoft’s answer to data visualization, executive dashboards and data warehousing. It’s a tool that has been out there for a while but has probably picked up steam in the last two to three years.
Create Data Visualizations from Different Data Sources
I think the main benefit of it is that it connects to so many different systems pretty easily. As long as you know the URL to the source and you’ve got password and username, you can connect to it and you can bring together different information from different sources into one dashboard. So, you can have Backlog from SemiOps, Bookings from DemandOps and then Invoices, P&L sales report from Dynamics 365 Business Central, all in the same report. You can even relate them to the same data set if there’s some values that are the same like customer or a part or document number between the systems.
You can combine data to create a 360-degree view of all the information in your organization. You can even link up to an Excel file and SharePoint or salesforce.com. I’d recommend you kind of play around on the different data sources. We will go through the three that I mentioned today, but see the others that are out there in case you have those systems, you might be able to integrate other data from your other systems.
Powerful Query Editor
Basically, it’s a really powerful Query Editor. In fact, I think it’s exactly the same as a query editor in Excel if you’ve ever used the new Excel 365 the query editor. It’s gone light years ahead of where it used to be. It has got great ways of easily merging and stacking data sets on top of each other, appending them, creating custom tables and formulas. It’s a way to automate the data cleanup and data cleansing and normalization with a pretty user-friendly tool.
It’s has got good security built in around it. So not only does the security of the source system apply (you’re logging in and using credentials), but you can also define who has access to that data set. You create what are called ‘Workspaces’ in Power BI. So you may have multiple workspaces, where you assign users to each workspace.
Once you assign it to them, they can have access and view the data within that data set. So you might have maybe three reports or five reports for inventory, maybe you’ve got an inventory or operations Workspace. And you’ve got your operations folks assigned to that workspace.
Then maybe you’ve got more sensitive information around revenue or expenses or cash that might only go to finance or executives or a smaller group of folks, you would create a new workspace for that and assign those users.
So really nice user security and the interface is pretty familiar. It feels a lot like Excel or any Office 365 product with the ribbons across the top. A lot of the formulas are the same, and like I mentioned before the query editor is exactly the same as an Excel. So, once you start learning your way around the application, if you spend any time in Excel, it’ll seem pretty familiar to you.”
To learn more about Power BI and how Tensoft can help you to convert your data into insights, view our other blog posts here.